Living Like an American in D.C.

Living Like an American in D.C.

Hello readers, and welcome to my blog. Before we get started, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Hélène, and I am 23 years old. I live in Brussels, Belgium’s capital and home to the best chocolate, waffles and fries you'll ever taste.

 

As you might have guessed, I am currently in Washington, D.C. with The Washington Center and interning at Adlumin Inc, a startup company that created an application for data protection. With this blog, one of my goals is to guide international students through the crazy, overwhelming feelings they will get during their stay here in America. That doesn’t mean you Americans can’t read this blog, as it will also help you understand some of the weird things we international students do.


To start of my weekly blog posts, here are 5 funny things I noticed during my first two weeks as an American:

 

1. During your first days, you will meet a lot of new people. Do not try to kiss them. They will find it strange and freak out. Americans don’t kiss on the cheek, or at least not when you have just met them. Just play it safe and shake their hand. Or just stand there and wave - that’s also a safe option. After a while they will try to hug you; just run in the opposite direction while waving. Europeans do not like awkward hugs (RIP affection).

source: giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

2. Although we also have a large animal population in Europe, you will get up close and personal with some animals in D.C. Even though it will make you feel like a Disney princess/prince, do not touch the squirrels. You will also meet a lot of rats around trash cans. Again, you are not in a Disney movie, this is not Ratatouille, they can’t talk or cook, and are therefore not your friends (RIP childhood dreams).

    source: giphy

    Courtesy of Giphy

     

    3. At some point, you will get hungry. Do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry. You will end up with a lot of food, but none it will be food that is good for you (RIP your body). You will get very excited and live off of toasted waffles, Indian food, mac and cheese out of a box, Dino nuggets (they actually look like dinosaurs) and breakfast burritos. Actually, there is nothing you can do about this. Just give in and live your American life to the fullest.

     

    source: giphy

    Courtesy of Giphy

     

    4. A good way to make conversation is talking to your Uber driver, become friends with them. Always ask them the following question: "What is the craziest thing that has happened to you?" Our last Uber driver witnessed a couple deciding to get a divorce during the ride (RIP marriage). Then again, another Uber driver we’ve met performed the entire "Frozen" soundtrack for us (RIP ears).

     

    source: giphy

    Courtesy of Giphy


    5. Americans will be very friendly to you all of the time. They will you call you "honey" and say "bless you and your family and your pets" every two seconds. They will also ask you how you are doing, which is not an invitation to start talking about yourself (RIP conversation). Just say ‘fine’ and move on. Nobody wants to hear about the squirrels you almost touched.

     

    source: giphy

    Courtesy of Giphy

     

    On that note, stay safe - don’t touch anything except for your textbooks. I will see you again next week!

     

    I wave you goodbye,

    Hélène

     

    Read Hélène's previous blog posts

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